Gone are the days of walking home at night through a dimly-lit car park, Nokia 3310 in one hand, keychain in the other. Today, there are plenty of apps designed to help keep us safe. We have researched some of the most popular safety apps. Here are our favourites, based on the features they offer and customer reviews and ratings.
Yes, we know, they’re apps. They won’t stop a violent attack, or prevent a car crash from happening. However, they might be able to give you the tools necessary to quickly and discreetly alert a friend or family member if you come into danger. Read our guide below on four of the best apps we have discovered.
Watch Over Me was created by a young woman who narrowly escaped a kidnapping. Chin, from Malaysia, created the app in an attempt to channel her rage and frustration.
You can tell the app what you are doing, whether that’s meeting a friend or walking home, and can add how long it should take you to complete this. If you don’t report back within the time frame, the app will send an alert to your listed emergency contacts via Facebook, email or SMS.
It will even gather information on your location and time stamp events. If you have a paid subscription, the app will use your camera to take pictures of what is going on.
BSafe has many of the same features of Watch Over Me, including the SOS button that will automatically send your location to a friend or family member. But the app also offers a Fake Call option, which causes your phone to ring – making it easier to get out of a dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
BSafe comes with a video and sound recording feature which can be used as evidence if you ever need to report an incident to the police. However, the app is mostly subscription oriented, so you will have to pay to get the most out of it.
Originally designed for students to avoid sexual violence, Circle of 6 is an app which allows you to create a circle of six friends or trusted people that will be quickly alerted if you are in danger. The app works well for those who may need help in a difficult situation that necessarily doesn’t require a 999 call.
The app features GPS tracking, too, meaning that, with one touch, and you can send your location to your six trusted friends.
ICE differs slightly from the other safety apps. The app acts a database full of information that may be useful in an emergency. It stores information about your medications, passed diseases, allergies and other health information.
ICE comes with a multiple profile option – allowing you to store the information of family members and close friends, too. There is also the option that allows you to assign an illness to a particular doctor, making it easy for someone to contact them if needs be.
An alarm button on the app will send an emergency SMS to the people in your contact list, informing them of a potential life-threatening situation and your whereabouts.
These apps could be useful in giving you peace of mind during your late-night walk home. However, the industry has not yet matured. This means that none of the apps are perfect. For example, most are heavily reliant on GPS technology, and so locations can potentially be inaccurate – though often still close enough.
To be clear, your first line of defence should always be 999 if you end up in a dangerous situation – but there is nothing wrong in downloading and using them, if it makes you feel safer.
You may also be interested What to Do If You Need to Call 999 But Can’t Talk.
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